ARC Review: The Colony: A Novel

The Colony: A Novel The Colony: A Novel  {Amazon}
by A.J. Colucci {Website}
Paperback, 304 pages
Published: November 13th 2012 by Thomas Dunne Books
Source: Goodreads First Reads Giveaway
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A series of gruesome attacks have been sweeping New York City. A teacher in Harlem and two sanitation workers on Wall Street are found dead, their swollen bodies nearly dissolved from the inside out. The predator is a deadly supercolony of ants--an army of one trillion soldiers with razor-sharp claws that pierce skin like paper and stinging venom that liquefies its prey.  The desperate mayor turns to the greatest ant expert in the world, Paul O’Keefe, a Pulitzer Prize–winning scientist in an Armani suit. But Paul is baffled by the ants. They are twice the size of any normal ant and have no recognizable DNA. They’re vicious in the field yet docile in the hand. Paul calls on the one person he knows can help destroy the colony, his ex-wife Kendra Hart, a spirited entomologist studying fire ants in the New Mexico desert. Kendra is taken to a secret underground bunker in New York City, where she finds herself working side by side with her brilliant but arrogant ex-husband and a high-ranking military officer hell-bent on stopping the insects with a nuclear bomb.When the ants launch an all-out attack, Paul and Kendra hit the dangerous, panic-stricken streets of New York, searching for a coveted queen. It’s a race to unlock the secrets of an indestructible new species, before the president nukes Manhattan. A.J. Colucci's debut novel is a terrifying mix of classic Michael Crichton and Stephen King. A thriller with the highest stakes and the most fascinating science, The Colony does for ants what Jaws did for sharks.


Weaponized ants. Government secrets. A panicked, dying public.

And the scientists who can save them.

It's a sci-fi thriller that’s more Hollywood than pulp fiction. To me it’s more Michael Crichton than Stephen King because I wasn’t afraid to sleep or wondering what sick mind came up with this nightmare.
My list of things to kill without mercy and to the very last one:
1.) Bed bugs
has now grown to include:
2.) Some species of ants

I wasn’t scared of ants before or after reading. However, I wasn’t aware of just how much damage fire ants were causing, which is a growing problem and actually threatening to our way of life.
The opening was really enthralling. Then I started seeing how it was going to go and interest waned. It really picks up again after 100 or so pages for me, making a great ride to the end; where instead of racing off the cliff into glory, it sputters and stalls in an anti-climatic huff.
I didn't have a problem with the dialogue or the writing. It’s just Hollywood style. Of course, I can see how that’s an issue for some people or not their style. There’s not much depth, except what you can imagine seeing as flashbacks and information nuggets in dialogue like they do in movies. Usually, I’m all about character depth but this book works. It is what it is - an enjoyable, short, entertaining movie-like read. Best used as a guilty pleasure, simple escape for a couple of hours. Not really a must read or must own but I don’t think you’ll regret borrowing it or buying it on sale. It’s not bad, just average. Nothing really stand out or outstanding here.
I do not like love triangles. This one actually didn't bother me for a couple of reasons. The love triangle isn't played up or or drawn out. It’s relatively minor and felt more like a backstory/history to me than a current tug-O-war. It makes sense because how many myrmecologists are there? Entomological Society of America for entomologist and people in related disciplines only has more than 6,000 members and myrmecology is just one sect of insect specialists. So if you’re looking for a partner that shares your field, there isn’t that many to choose from. (Of course a similar argument could be made regarding high school love triangles but the difference is those come off as way more childish and melodramatic to me.)
I liked how it talked about the science. I'm the type to question and call bullshit if something smells fishy. I literally stop to fact check. All the time. (I also stop movies to talk about things that just happened) This novice layman fact checker is happy. It worked for me. Of course, I'd be interested in what an actual scientist says on the matter but for the general public I don't think the science is too out there or too hard to understand.
Yelling for most of the book (like I yell at the TV) until the end,
"About fucking time!"
“Kill them alllllllllllllllllll.”
"Wait, what? Huh? Ooh. Okayyyyy."

Entertaining but not really fear inducing for me. Certainly got reactions from me through. Not really sure how I feel about the character ending. Seemed rather pathetic, after all they go through. I wanted more vengeance than information digging. I wanted to follow Kendra as her company took off and replaced the pest companies. I wanted to cheer for her as she dominates her field, “Yeah, you show them! Let ‘em choke on it!” and instead got the sappy, rom-con happily ever after ending. Kinda took the wind out of my sails.
Of course, the driving off into the sunset would make a beautiful cinematic ending.
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